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Department of Modern European Languages

UP student in the Department of French wins international writing competition

By Annamarie de Beer

Posted on 16 May 2012

Sabine Petsch, an honours student in French and Visual Studies at UP, will be travelling to Paris at the end of May to receive the first prize at the awards ceremony for the Espace en Jeu (Space in Play) competition that was organised by the Observatoire de l’Espace du CNES (Space Observatory of the National Centre for Spatial Studies).

Writing in French, entrants were required to submit a short story, journal entry, dialogue or poem of between two and four pages in length that contained specific words contained in a list provided by the organisers. This year, they added a particular restriction as the story had to place the narrator’s perspective at the centre by focusing on the intimate and personal dimensions of a situation.

In her story, Sabine compared the main character, who was being completely ignored at a party, to an astronaut floating around in space and being unable to dock anywhere.
On 23 May, the winners will meet the French author Sonia Chiambretto before being taken on a guided tour of the Cité des Sciences (City of Science). Afterwards, the winners will read their stories and the evening will conclude with a trip aboard the Bateau Mouche (a riverboat) on the Seine.
We are looking forward to seeing Sabine’s photos and hearing about her experience in Paris!
The Department of French is also proud to announce that five of its students have been awarded bursaries to become teaching assistants in France. These bursaries are awarded annually and students who are registered for French studies at universities throughout the country and in Swaziland are invited to apply. This programme is organised and funded by the French government.    

Mia Louise Botha and Kristien Potgieter, both French honours students, will be leaving for Versailles, France, on 25 September to complete their seven-month assistantships. They both applied for positions as English assistants through the CIEP (Centre International d’Études Pédagogiques) and received the news that they had been accepted in April 2012.

They will form part of a group of 12 South Africans who have been approved for assistantships. Part of their responsibilities will be to work with children aged between eight and 11 years, organising oral expression activities for the children and working alongside the teacher. Both students are extremely excited about their assistantships and are already working on a winter wardrobe suitable for very cold conditions as they will be experiencing a white Christmas in French style.
Other students from the Department who have been accepted into the programme are French teaching assistant Bertus Barkhuizen, who is headed for Paris and third-year students Catherine Schenck and Laetitia Pambu, who will be working in Versailles and Strasbourg respectively.

Congratulations, we are proud of you!

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